In case you happened to make it to your comics shop or tablet to purchase a copy of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 before the shocking surprise ending was spoiled for you, CONGRATULATIONS. Headlines around the world are spelling it out in big letters: yet another Peter Parker is dead, making him 0-for-2 in Marvel’s various universes. (The Ultimate version died last year and was replaced by Miles Morales.) In a final battle with Doctor Ock, who was in the Spider-Man body, Peter could not control the withered, grey wifebeater glad body of Otto Octavius to victory and perished. Doc Ock is now both Peter and Spidey, but with the memories of Parker has decided to do the best he can and becomes SUPERIOR Spider-Man, on sale January 9th.
Not that we’ve read the comic in question. Like everyone, we’re on holiday and far from a comics shop. Sure we could have downloaded it, so having the story spoiled on twitter, rss, internet and everything but the family dog is entirely our fault. We managed to keep X-Factor results unknown for weeks at a time (not that anyone cared about Tate vs Bland Direction, really) so it can be done….but not this time.
While the issue in question had been available on street corners and file sharing since last week, you could still maintain a fig leaf of doubt about the epic events. However on Boxing Day morning, Marvel Itself released a spoiler-filled PR which revealed that AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 and the followup AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #15.1 are both sold out until January 30th.
“This is the single most seismic shift in Spider-Man’s history—and it’s not something that will disappear any time soon,” said Axel Alonso, Editor in Chief, Marvel Entertainment. “When Spider-Man editor Steve Wacker and writer Dan Slott came to us with this story, it was clear that this was a long term plan crafted with the utmost love and respect for the character. This is the kind of story that will have fans up in arms—but also coming back to the comic stores to check out each new exciting issue.”
On January 9th, Marvel launches Superior Spider-Man #1, an all-new ongoing series from Slott and superstar artist Ryan Stegman (Fantastic Four, Scarlet Spider)! Shipping twice-monthly, Superior Spider-Man launches a new chapter in the Marvel mythos, as Doctor Octopus strikes out on his own to be the greatest Spider-Man this world has ever known. But can he keep up the ruse? Will Spidey’s closest allies discover the fate of Peter Parker? And can this Spider-Man truly be a hero?
Writer Dan Slott sold the story line in USA Today:
This is Moriarty in the head of Sherlock. This is Prince John inside of Robin Hood. This is the greatest villain inside the body of the greatest hero and trying to do good,” says writer Dan Slott, who moves from Amazing to Superior Spider-Man with rotating artists Ryan Stegman, Humberto Ramos and Giuseppe Camuncoli.
So…a dramatic storyline spoiled by marketing and publicity concerns. Are there any winners here? Probably everyone. If you don’t know to stay off the internet during dramatic storylines by now, who’s the fool? Marvel has gotten massive publicity (albeit in a news-desert time period) and lots of buzz for the new series, previewed below.
The losers? Idiotic numbskulls with no moral compass or sense of scale who made death threats against Slott. It’s only lines on paper, folks.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.